SME owners’ extra hours fuel £22bn economy boost

Small business owners working overtime contribute up to £22bn a year to the UK’s economy, according to a new study.

The research conducted by small business lender Everline and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) shows that this is equivalent to more than 1 per cent of the UK’s annual GDP.

It study also found that over half of small businesses owners who work conventional weekday hours, also plan to work to some extent on at least one bank holiday over the next 12 months.

And that almost four in five of those with responsibility for a small firm reported working overtime in the last month, with up to 18 per cent working more than 60 hours a week.

The researchers also discovered that more than one in ten respondents expected to work  on Boxing and New Year’s Day , while 51 percent of those surveyed  said working over the bank holidays stopped them from getting behind on work.

Sam Alderson, economist at CEBR, said that the UK’s shortage of skills was constraining the ability of businesses to expand and as such decision-makers were being forced to take on responsibility for greater range of functions.

“While small business owners should be applauded for their dedication and hard work, it’s a shame that these qualities are being devoted to tasks such as administration rather than strategy and business development; areas that could translate into sustainable growth for the small business sector,” he concluded.

The study also found that older business owners tended to work more hours outside of their standard working day than their younger counterparts.

As a result, older business owners are more likely to be primarily responsible for a wider range of functions such as marketing, administration and finance.

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